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Myers, W.A. (1983). An Athletic Example of the Typical Examination Dream. Psychoanal Q., 52:594-598.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:594-598

An Athletic Example of the Typical Examination Dream

Wayne A. Myers, M.D.

A businessman, who had been a daredevil skier in his youth and who continued to ski for pleasure during the course of his analysis, repeatedly dreamed of "wiping out" on an especially difficult slope. In reality, he had always successfully navigated this particular ski run. The dream occurred for the first time in the treatment before an actual ski trip, but on four subsequent occasions, it had occurred before important business presentations, or prior to sexual encounters or interpersonal confrontations with his family.

On the five occasions when the patient had the dream, he visualized himself skiing down the dangerous slope absolutely alone. Suddenly, he would feel himself losing control on a patch of ice. He would then envision himself flying through the air with his arms flailing wildly as he waited to crash to the ground. Although the subject matter of the manifest content of these dreams did not deal with "examinations" per se, the anxiety aroused in the patient and his feelings of reassurance that it was only a dream upon awakening seemed typical of that kind of dream.

In the first three instances when the patient had the dream, the topography of the ski run appeared to be blurred and of little consequence. It was simply referred to as a downhill race course. The patient felt certain that the mountain where the course was located was one where he had frequently skied with his family during his youth, although he could not recall the exact name of the run in question. He was sure, however, that he had never "wiped out" anywhere on that particular face of the mountain, though he did recall falls on the other side of the peak.

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